Building capacity dissolves differences and irons out inequalities. These words by former Indian President APJ Abdul Kalam echo our philosophy at BRLF. With the capacity gap at the grassroots causing a chasm between outlays and outcomes, we have set up a capacity-building vertical for existing and aspiring rural professionals in the country. One of its initiatives is the Certificate Programme in Rural Livelihoods (CPRL).
BRLF has designed a unique and innovative training program called the Certificate Program in Rural Livelihoods (CPRL) to address the challenge of scarce trained human resources at the field level particularly focused on tribal areas. It is a six month residential training program with 16 different modules in rural livelihoods delivered by 15 knowledge partners across nine states of India. BRLF in collaboration with IIHMRU has successfully completed 4 batches of CPRL with a collective strength of 116 tribal students graduating under it. The first batch of CPRL started on 15th of November’ 2016, covering a journey of great learning and experiences across 13 locations in 7 states and it got completed on the 24th of May’ 2017. At the moment the fifth and sixth batch are in progress with another 58 candidates going through the course.
One proven climate adaptation strategy is the springshed approach, which combines landscape, watershed and aquifer management. With this in mind, in April 2017 BRLF launched the Jharnadhara project with the MGNREGA cell of the West Bengal and PRASARI in collaboration with the Advanced Centre for Water Resources Development and Management (ACWADAM) and with the funding support from Arghyam to undertake springshed development pilots with the assistance of civil society organisations (CSOs). The project aims to develop 616 springsheds in four districts—Darjeeling, Alipurduar, Kalimpong and Jalpaiguri—to revive 457 natural springs. (The majority of the springs are in Darjeeling district.)
Despite adequate rainfall the 4 districts of Northern West Bengal suffer from extreme water crisis. The pressures of urban demand as well as erratic effects of climate change have added to these water woes. BRLF has partnered with the MGNREGA cell of the West Bengal in collaboration with the Advanced Centre for Water Resources Development and Management (ACWADAM) to undertake the Jharnadhara Project. The project aims to develop 616 springsheds across the districts of Darjeeling, Alipurduar, Kalimpong and Jalpaiguri.
We at BRLF believe the Jharnadhara project will be an exemplar for states to fight this battle, armed with the power of civil society and the strength of local communities.
To be marginalised is to be excluded from the national discourse and, more often than not, development. This rings sadly true for the Particularly Vulnerable Tribal (PVT) Groups of India. Geographic isolation has compounded problems like poverty, illiteracy, unhygienic living conditions, unavailability of healthcare and nutritional services, deforestation, pre-agricultural levels of technology and lack of access to safe drinking water. And being the poorest of the poor, they have been hit hardest by climate change.
BRLF is undertaking a project named ‘Strengthening Civil Society Action for Transforming Lives of the Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups’
With the support of the European Union to promote Inclusive Development. The project is being implemented across 279 villages in Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand. The idea is to enhance the quality of outcomes of the grassroots CSO intervention in the areas of water and clean energy in the wake of increasing climate change, build the capacities of CSOs in resource mobilization, advocacy and policy dialogues. Also to drive innovation in program content and strategy for improved climate resilience in water and clean energy sector